Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hope For The Hard Days







"What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days" by Holley Gerth, is a new devotional recently released. There are 52 encouraging truths.

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How can you not love a devotional with chapters named, "God Say's You're a Delight Not a Disappointment" or "God Wants to Know, How are You, Really?"

Holley's sweet encouraging words ring loud and clear in each short chapter. They make for the perfect read while sipping your morning coffee.

I think Holley knew just what she was doing when she decided to write this. Don't we all need hope for those hard days? Just a little bit of encouragement to reassure us we aren't alone.

Holley once again offers truth, wisdom, and grace in short, easy to read morsels. You'll be tempted to indulge in the entire book. But I say taste each one-day by day, savor and enjoy, so that the truths she has for you may sink deep.

True Hope, real truth.

I know some days I struggle to get out of my nice warm bed and would like nothing more than to pull the covers pulled up close and go back to sleep. BUT, I do get up.

And when I work my way down and sit with my warm cup of sweet creamy coffee, I smile as I pick up Holley's devotional. Her words encourage my tired and weary soul and turn my mindset around. I'm reminded of God's promises to me and reminds me, yes, life is hard, but I serve a good God that is with me every step of the way.

Don't we all need a little of that sunshine?


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Shut The Door



I want you to imagine for a moment that you are walking through a door. Now turn around and shut and lock it. Turn back and look up. This is your life, what's in front of you. The past is forever locked behind the door and there is no going back to unlock it and relive it. It is finished.

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I did something this past Sunday at a church we were visiting that I do not normally do. I went down for an altar call. I do not like everyone staring at me and wondering why I'm walking the aisles, so I usually stay quietly put in my seat and wait for it to be over.

But this was no ordinary service.

The preacher immediately walked up to the stage and started crying. I could tell this service was going to be emotion-filled, and curiously wondered what he was going to say next.

The preacher went on to say he had an entirely different sermon planned. But God woke him at 5 am and told him to scratch it and speak on shutting the door to our pasts so that we can fully live in our anointing and be who we are called to be in Christ.

He said he knew there were people there today that needed to know they have been set free from their sins, their past, their mistakes, their losses. There were people there that needed to know it was ok to be unstuck and move forward.

God had a message for us on living differently despite what our friends and family may say or think. And He wants us to be free. 

The pastor called those that were ready to stop living life their way, those that wanted to confess, those that wanted to recommit, those that heavy burdens and needed a clear discernment from the Lord to come down and he was going to pray for each one.

I'm not sure what got into me. But I knew I had to go down, I needed the words he was going to pray to be for me too.

I scooted myself down the aisle at the horror of each of my family members, questioning eyes staring at me and whispering as I passed, "Where are you going?"and I  quietly told them to MOVE.

(In my house I am the spiritual leader and sometimes I really question myself and worry about whether I am doing enough or doing it right. Being the leader is scary because if I fail to train them up in the way they should go, I'm going to take the blame one day when I stand face to face with God.)

Not only did I need to go down for my own reasons, but I felt strongly that they needed to see me go down.

I'm not sure why. But does the why really matter when God tells us to do something?

Brave is hard, but living safe, well, that's just not living.(<===Click To Tweet)

Sometimes we really do get too caught up in what others will think if we are Jesus freaks but have no trouble acting like a fool at a football game.

"Sinners cannot quench the Holy Spirit, but believers can." Mike Wright, Pastor of Gateway Community Church

This past Sunday morning, God showed me that every day we choose to leave the door open to sin we quench the spirit. Each time we decide we are not enough or strong enough to face our losses and walk in the freedom of Christ that we have been given, we quench the spirit.

The anointing will break the yoke of oppression, depression, and mourning. Jesus and Jesus alone will set the captives free.
Luke 4: 18, "The Spirit of the Lord is on Me,because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor.He has sent Me
to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."
Don't quench the spirit. Don't live in a spirit of poverty. We have anointing in us to do more than we could ever hope or imagine. The world says we can't, but no, we can!





We don't have to let our pasts and mistakes, hold us back anymore. We are forgiven and washed clean and made completely new and whole in Christ. Dear friend, let us stopping holding onto what could have been or should have been.

We are right where God wants us to be and He will use it all for His good. We're never too far gone.

God knew I needed to be set free from my insecurities as a leader, from sin that keeps me stuck, and to be reminded that He has set me free to live boldly.

Today, let's shut the door for good, and walk into our future.

Are you ready? Me too.


===> Want to listen to the powerful message that moved me? Click here.
          Email subscribers please click here if you would like to listen.





Linking with: #TellHisStory, ThreeWordWed, Winsome Wed, Thought-Provoking Thurs

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Excuse Me, My Under Belly Is Showing (and why I'm a Christian)



Warning- this post contains lots of over-shares, continue at your own risk. You've been warned :) )
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Can I be honest? I get a little afraid when someone finds out I'm a Christian or a blogger/writer ('cause isn't everyone?!)

Seriously, I feel like there's this expectation of good that people expect from me when they find these things out. And it makes them weird around me. Like they are afraid they will say the wrong thing and I will judge.

Puhleeze.



I am awkward, shy, and will usually say the wrong thing at the PRECISE wrong time.

I'm no goody goody with life and Christ all figured out. I'm just trying to figure out how to get the laundry washed,dried, and put away in one day (it might usually get drug out to two or three days, I like to say they weren't dry enough and set them for another spin ;))

My kids don't always mind and they can get on my nerves when they walk in when I'm watching my show and start talking...or worse start watching!

I've been known to have a drink or two, on occasion. I can be crude (sometimes).

Well put together people (or those with A-type personalities aka, very organized with endless energy to get the job done) make me nervous and itchy. I'm more of a go with the flow, don't over plan because there needs to be nap time scheduled somewhere in the day. 

I laugh when I shouldn't and yes, sometimes snort, which I know my husband thinks is very sexy ;)

I'm not very good or exceptionally smart at a lot of things, this is why I write. It's what I do. I'm what 'they' would call a creative.

I don't know if I'll ever make any money from it, and that's ok. Because I believe when you find something you love and are semi-good at it you keep on doing it regardless of the money it brings in (ever hear of the term starving artist? Yep that's me without the starving part)

One of my many weaknesses is I'm a people pleaser, I'm not nearly as bad as I used to be, but still, if I know I'm disappointing someone it hurts my heart.

I've been known to hold a grudge and not forgive, but now I know these things only hurt me more than the other person. So I let it go. I don't want to grow old AND bitter. 

God's been growing my faith and love for Him because I asked Him too. One day I realized I had heard my entire life how much Jesus loves me, but did I feel the same way about Him? I wanted to. I wanted to know and love Him the way I saw others do. I wanted a passion that life couldn't douse. 

And wouldn't you know? He did.

He started getting real personal with me. Answering prayers that only I knew I had prayed about. He bent down real low, (even lower than normal 'cause I'm short) and whispered, "I love you, just as you are. You are special to me." I've only ever wanted just a glimpse of how much He loves me. I know that loves changes a person. It makes you want to be better than you've ever been. Do more, be more. 

My heart hurts for those which are hurting. For the weirdos and "less-than's" of the world, because it's how I've felt most of my life. I want to cup their chins in my hand, look deep into their eyes and tell them this, "You are more, and if you'll let God will prove it to you, He will. Don't you dare for one minute believe the lies of others. Just because they have believed what others have told them, you don't have to. Stand out, be you. And be brave!"

Early in my walk I teetered on a legalistic view point, because I wanted so much to show God how good I was and how much I had indeed changed. And I wanted everyone else to see it too, look how perfect I am. But I wasn't.  I was nothing more than a polished up cup, trying desperately to earn my faith.

But, oh, how it can't be earned. And it took me a while to fully grasp this.

I am a Christian, still me, but a better version of me. Grace is some thing freely given with no strings attached, the way presents should be given. People still hurt me and I get angry, things don't always go my way.

I know that not in my will or might will I get anything done. God is my rock and my fortress when life threatens to take me down.

I hope that those I meet are able to see the light in my eyes and know there is something different about me and want to know more. I hope they feel relaxed enough to drop their guard and know I will not judge them. 

I know how very needy I am. That's why I need Jesus, every day more and more. It's the reason I wake up and open my Bible. It's not to brag or look holy, it's because I desperately need Him before I start my day. I need His peace that surpasses all understanding to wash over me, His perspective, and His patience to better deal with my people and whatever the day plans to throw at me.

I am a Christian because I tried life on my own terms before and it only led to ugliness and many bad decisions. I was angry and didn't know why. I tried hard to make life work out the way I wanted and only ended up frustrated and hurt from disappointments.

I'm not perfect nor will I ever be. I will walk the road to sanctification as long as I have breath.

What is your why?






Staying needy,
Alecia

Friday, October 31, 2014

It's Time to Face The Monsters




Fear

Insecurity

Doubt

What you think you lack…

What you think you don’t have…

Who you think you aren’t…

These are the monsters that keep you from living the life you were meant for.

Am I right?

They tie your hands behind your back and make your feet feel like they have been planted in cement. You don’t move forward -  too afraid of the what-ifs. You can’t go back. So you live somewhere in the middle of what you want and where you are.

There’s a reason they call fear a form of bondage. Because it is.

What if, though? What if you swallowed down that lump in your throat?

What if, you said a brave yes and took a leap of faith forward. Trusting that there would be someone there to catch you if you fall.

What if, everything you had made up in your head – all that could, would, should happen, didn’t? What if, you were wrong?
“If you’re not afraid, you’re dream isn’t big enough. Your dreams should scare you."  Want to know why? Because they need to be "ridiculously crazy so that the only way they will ever succeed is if God intervenes." (Mark Batterson)



Today, I am guest posting over at God-sized Dreams, won't you join me?




Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How Small Has Nothing To Do With Big-The Biggest Small Church In TX


"If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing."(1 Cor 13:3)




I had the opportunity of working at Button Memorial, the smallest big church I've ever been in, for only nine short months before we moved. But it's an experience that I'll always look back on with a smile.Last year while working in the church office I witnessed first hand the power of small and how very BIG it can be.

This sweet little church has no more than 70 members (on a good Sunday), but they have hearts that do the work of many.

the workers are few but the harvest is plenty.

They lived out the phrase  "Jesus with skin on" in ways that made me proud to show up each morning and witness to their acts of love and kindness. They reminded me of what church is supposed to be.

They aren't perfect people and it doesn't matter. I like them more because they weren't perfect, just fully human beings working out their faith in day to day acts.






The members of Button fed those that came through their doors through the food bank, which ran solely on donations (mainly) provided by the congregants. During the summer they offered a free lunch program for low-income families. They wanted to make sure there weren't any hungry kids in the community with school being on break. 

The widow loved the Lord and gave all she could. It wasn't in her abundance but in her poverty she gave all she had, and how it pleased the Lord.(Luke 21:1-4)

(Did you know thousands of children each summer go hungry day to day once school lets out for the summer? School is where they get their breakfast and lunch. They may or may not get dinner at night, so the two meals they eat at school are all they get.)

Some days I felt like the church bouncer (which is a funny picture, because I'm 'bout the last person that would ever be a door bouncer)because we would get quite a few walk-ins from the street asking for help. If there was money to be given it was, if not we directed them to another church that could help.

Most of the congregants are older, it's a dying church, quite literally.

But it doesn't stop them from acting when a call comes in of a person in need, member or not. They will do all they can to fill the need of whomever walks through their doors, no judgement, questions asked, only, "What can we do for you?"

And isn't that the way church is meant to be? A welcoming sanctuary for all?

Acts 4:32-35 "Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need."

We don't have to have huge bank accounts or large amounts of time. We only need love like Jesus did. Pray for God to grow that love for Him and others.

Button isn't  made up of rich, high-society folks. No, they were a group of individuals that worked as one body. Like, I believe, the church was meant to.

I want to love like the people of Button. Because they know how to love BIG.

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God provided this job as a way to show me my prayers need to be specific. I've spent my entire prayer life praying very general prayers. But this time I got detailed. I asked for a part time job that I could work while the kids were at school, maybe even only 4 days a week, no weekends. A job that understood I had a family and if the kids were sick or had something going on at school, I needed to be there. And a job that wasn't so stressful it spilled over to my family.

God provided just that. The job at Button is what I prayed for. I know I wasn't the most qualified applicant, and Lord knows Pastor Mel had his hands full of applicants to choose from, but he chose me.

Oh, God, how you love.

“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be."( Deut 15:7-8)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Let's Take A Walk...


I grew up being a fan. In the south you have to pick sides, Auburn or Alabama? You will be asked this question before they ask you the next question, "What church do you go to?"

After graduating high school I was -eventually-able to attend the BIG campus and not just the smaller one in Montgomery (AUM-Auburn University of Montgomery) (after I pulled up my grades :))

The campus is like no other, absolutely beautiful. Old big architectural buildings dating back over 100 years. Huge oak trees and perfectly landscaped courtyards are what you will find in a stroll through campus.

A couple of weekends ago Trey and I had the chance to get up early and walk through campus one Saturday morning sans kids.

We were surprised to see how many people were up and jogging and walking. In a college town you wouldn't expect to see so many faces early on a Sat morning.

 The only disappointment of the morning was that it was cloudy. I was hoping for some sun for my pictures, but they didn't turn out so bad.

Are you ready? Lets take a walk through campus!

     Samford Hall-sits right off College Street. It's the backdrop for most pictures taken on campus. You can see why.




The Football Stadium







The Haley Center-not only where I took a couple of classes, but grabbed quick lunches or snacks and usually found a quiet spot to study before a test.





Toomer's Drugs-Home of the famous lemonade. It's good! This is also the corner that gets rolled when we win football games. This little corner is a mad house!





I hoped you enjoyed our walk. As you can see we are LOVING our new home!



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Feathers Everywhere & Seeing God





I sent a text to a friend. I wanted to encourage her and so I said, "I hope God shows you today how much He loves you and that he sees you. I hope you see a feather as a reminder."  She wished the  same back to me. I prayed silently to God, show my friend that you see her and you haven't forgotten her.

A couple of hours later, she sent me this text...





Feathers and Y's have been showing up everywhere! After a hard day. After a disappointing day. After a downright no- good- day-let-me-throw-in-the-towel-day.

Why they Y's you ask? What do they mean? Well, Jennifer Dukes Lee, started me on the Y's. Y is for Yahweh-God.

A few years back she started noticing the Y's. In trees, on signs, sticks, roads. You name it and she saw it. It was like God's way of reminding her that He was with her.

I picked this up on a morning walk in the woods with Trey. Yep, he thought I was crazy for picking up a stick and then even crazier after I explained what it was for. But I would  not let him get rid of it! :) It now sits proudly on the window sill of our condo.





Here's just a few of the feathers I've found since this text with my friend.






God is with us, and sees us (El Roi). I hope this encourages you today to keep believing! There have been so many more feather sightings,  but I stopped taking pictures of them :)

When I see them I feel like we are being surrounded and protected by angel armies, just the thought gives me chills.




Linking with my friends at: Soli deo Gloria, Winsome Wed, #TellHisStory, Coffee For Your HeartThought-Provoking Thurs

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Somewhere In The Middle Is Where You'll Find Me




The Middle-Story of my life!

Throughout my life I seem to find myself somewhere in the middle. (Maybe it's from being a middle child? Something to ask a therapist about one day ;) )

The middle would not only describe me and my personality-not bubbly but not Eyore either-but also life.

One month ago we were experiencing mountaintop living-no middle ground to be found.

There's something about the mountaintop of life. God answers prayers, things start happening and you wonder, how in the world did I get to be so blessed?What did I do to deserve such goodness?

When God answered a prayer that was a longing in my heart; to move closer home. I didn't think it would happen, in my mind all I could see was right in front of me and there was no way moving was in the cards. 

But it did. And it happened unexpectedly and so fast we almost got whiplash!

Valley living is what I like to refer to as living in the middle. It's a waiting period. A standstill. Stuckville.

We are waiting for our home in Texas to sell, (until then we can't move forward with a new home) waiting to find the perfect home-aka one we can all mostly agree on. Waiting for life be settled and a new normal to start.Waiting waiting waiting...and maybe a little whining.

Waiting and being patient are two things required in life, and two things that have never come easily to me.

God puts me in these waiting seasons and it makes me anxious, angry, and so many other things at one time.

The wise words of Paul, being content in every circumstance comes to mind (Phil 4:11) and I close my eyes, inhale and exhale deeply. I try, I really do. And most days contentment and joy is mine for the taking.

My life may have a lot of middle seasons, and maybe yours does too? They seem to never end sometimes.

The waiting for dreams to come true, relationships to pan out, forgiveness to replace the hurts and anger, the job desperately needed, the right diagnosis from the doctor after months and months of tests.

The middle can feel like agony and make everything feel distorted, like looking in one of those crazy mirrors at a circus. Life seems disoriented and problems are WAY bigger than they actually are.

It's easy to lose sight of the small blessings that are right in front of you because you can only see what's not happening

But the middle is necessary. We know God does His biggest work when He's quiet.

I'm learning the middle stretches my faith...and patience. It's also the place where I question everything I am, I do, who I am. What matters and what doesn't. It's a reality check of my plans, reasons, and purpose.

I don't like the messy middle, but it does make me appreciate those mountain top moments even more and not take them for granted.

Today if you find yourself in the middle, know, I'm there too. More times than not in my life, this is where you'll find me.

Sometimes on fire, sometimes lukewarm and always trying to move forward and not go back.



When walking through the refining fire I have to learn to better embrace it instead of going to my default of whining and wondering when it will end. Go back and read the first line of Shelly's quote again.

Since when did my faith become about needing to be certain that things were going to work out? Where does that leave faith?

God is going to work out ALL things for those that love Him. That includes me and you!

Here's my prayer for being in the middle.

Dear Lord,

I pray that when I find myself in "the middle"season of life You will renew and remind me of what it means to have faith. Help me  to rely on my faith when my circumstances are screaming that nothing is going right. Lord, help me to stay in the faith and know who I am and remember who You are. You are the God that sees and the ultimate provider. You long for me to know You and trust in You. I am yours. Today, tomorrow, and forever. You are between my faith and plans. Between the boat and the waves. You are the only safety net that I need.  I trade my fears, my failures, and my not-enoughs, for You. Please Lord, more of You and less of me. 

Lastly, I want to thank you for the middle seasons, I know they are there to refine me. Make me stronger and help me grow. Help me to embrace the middle and the lessons to be learned.

In Jesus' name,
Amen



Linking with my friends, Soli deo Gloria, #TellHisStory, Holley Gerth, Winsome Wed, and Thought-Provoking Thurs

Friday, September 19, 2014

I'm Wide Awake

Wide Awake is more than a Katy Perry song...




Awaken to God’s call on your life. He says, “I have something so different for you. Open your eyes to see what I’m doing in your life. Believe.” Do you believe God does have a plan for you? We have the ability to help people to touch lives. Revive them and wake them from their spiritual slumber. Bianca Olthoff
What does it mean to live wide awake?

It is to dream of a better world, a different world.  And dare to do something about it.

I question, I ask myself often. Am I doing enough in my corner of the world? Am I making a difference?

God has been showing me that a God-sized dreamer sees the needs of those around them and sets out to do something to fill that need.  It may not be to be a missionary across the country or starting an organization but it can be within my own family, neighborhood, or city.

Help me to live differently Lord, to love differently. That is my prayer, and the heart behind my own personal blog.  Live and love differently because of Christ.
Life is a work of art. The canvas you paint first is your life. Then your life becomes the brush from which you paint that part of the world you touch while you are here on this planet. You are an artist.  (Wide Awake, Erwin Raphael McManus)
To live, really live, we need to wake up and hold our hands palm up to all that God has for us.

Will you join me over at God-sized Dreams to read the rest? I hope to see you over there!



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Here's To Mr. C and Teachers Everywhere


*School has started back all over the country and I thought what better way to start the school year than with a guest post from a former teacher, now writer. Please welcome a new writing friend, Hally Franz. I met Hally in our critique writing group. She is a wonderful writer and writes regularly over at her website, Bloom, Bond, Build.

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As I sat down to write this devotion, something happened. It’s the thing that happens more frequently these days. Perhaps it’s due to aging or simply cramming too many things into this taxed brain of mine.

 It was a case of brain freeze, and not the kind one gets when drinking a thirst-quenching, but painful, blue slush.

It’s good we are all back in school! It’s time to get those minds working again. Time for routine and order in our lives. Time for a little time apart. 

As I send my seventh- and eleventh-graders to school, I pray they will have productive and fun years. Then, I thank God for some peace and quiet for my taxed brain.

I recently thought about my sixth-grade teacher. He was a tall, young, black man. In the 1970’s, particularly in our rural community, that was an unlikely description for one of our teachers. The vast majority of elementary teachers were women, and even fewer African-American teachers. I’ll call him “Mr. C.”  

Mr. C. was one of my favorites for a few simple reasons. First, he was cool, but no one messed with him. There were no discipline issues in his class. Of course, there weren’t many discipline issues in any classes at that time. (My second and third are better.)

So, secondly, Mr. C. made it a habit to announce those who had the best test grades. That practice may not be very PC today, but I loved it. I wasn’t always named, but it happened enough to be a motivator. 

Thirdly, there was one day a couple of years later when I passed Mr. C. in the hallway. I had grown taller and thinner since sixth grade, and he paid me a nice compliment. That feels good to a chubby girl.

It’s funny what we remember about our teachers. Sometimes, it’s the smallest, seemingly insignificant things that touch the hearts and minds of students. Veteran educators have learned this.

They know the importance of their words and examples to their students, and they take it seriously. Mr. C. went to his Heavenly home a few years ago, and it made me sad.

I am happy, dare I say gleeful, to have turned my children over to their new teachers. And, while I pray for their year, I will also pray for the teachers. What a blessing they are.   




A former teacher and high school guidance counselor, Hally appreciates the importance of educators in our children’s lives. Now a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer, and part-time church secretary, she and her husband, Tim, have a 13-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old son. Hally is both an adoptive and a biological parent, a 4-H leader, a cheer booster, and an enthusiastic book club member. Visit Hally at her blog: bloombondbuild.com!



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What I Wish I Would Have Told Him... And Am Now Telling Her

**I wrote the following post last year to my nephew who was 13 at the time. Instead of updating or reposting I thought I would add to it and link to the old one if you'd like to read the rest.

 Because, now, I have a 13 year old daughter. Pray for me?


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What I Wish I Would Have Told Him (first published 9/12)

Job 28:13 "Man does not comprehend it's worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living."
The Devil pulls no punches, when a battle of the mind is taking place,  he arrives early to the ring, he feels out his opponent, and zeroes in on their weakness to make it easier to deliver that final blow.

His lips salivate when he sees self-doubt and insecurities.

He knows he can deliver a punch to the heart that will make you feel unloved.

And the mind, it's next.

He will tell you lies; "No one likes you," "Oh my gosh, why did you say that? Now they think you are stupid!" "You're a LOSER," "It doesn't matter what you say or do, you'll never be good enough."

He's there to win and he will play dirty if that's what it takes to destroy you.

All he has to do is make you believe, believe just one, and he knows you're his. You will fall because he will beat you with his lies.

"Does anyone love me? Because everything i post gets no attention but everyone else's get lots of likes and comments."
This is was my 13 yr old nephew's status update on Facebook last week.

And I cried, y'all! Maybe I was just having an overly emotional day, but I sat there speechless staring at the screen with my heart in my throat, thinking how in the world could this child wonder if he's loved based on Facebook likes?


How at 13, and how at 33 can we buy into this lie? That we need others approval in order to feel worthy or seen?

You can read the rest of this post here

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I remembered writing the above post about my nephew, but realized I now needed to update it for my daughter (whom is now 13). It's not only a good reminder to them, but to me.

My worth doesn't come from anything I do or don't do, but from God alone. And that's enough. Regardless of what anyone says.



 Maybe you've heard of a little thing called Instagram?

Instagram is ALL THE RAGE with the young kids today. No longer on Facebook and definitely not on Twitter. They post pics and ask people to rate them, or give them a certain number of likes for a "shout out" and many more things that I just don't understand nor really want to.

But I now have a teenager, who bases her value on the number "likes" she gets on her pictures. I follow her because it's the rules for her to be on social media,but don't interact... usually (Unless I'm hacking her account to post how AMAZING her mom is :))



After scrolling through my feed once she said, "You just need to get off Instagram, no one likes your pictures."

(I thought she meant I took bad pictures and needed to save myself the embarrassment...and was OFFENDED.) She went on to say I needed to delete them.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because no one is liking them!"

I stared at her for a long time to see if she was kidding or I misunderstood. Neither was the case. So, I asked, "What do you mean? Do you delete your pics if they don't get a certain number of likes? 

She laughed like I was crazy for not realizing this and not doing it too. She said it's embarrassing to put a pic out there and not have anyone like it. So it will immediately get deleted if that happens. 

OH.

"Do you really delete if you don't get a bunch of likes? How many likes do you have to have in order to NOT delete?"



She laughed and said, "Oh, at least 16!"

Whaaaa? 

I said, "Well, I don't really post for the likes, I post if I have a pic I really like and something I want to say with it."

She rolled her 13yr old eyes "No, you post to get likes, you need to take these pics down NOW."

(Well, I was not going to be bullied around by a 13 years old. So I said a quick help me Jesus and proceeded to calmly ask her what in sam hill she was talking about.)

I leaned in and said, "Keeli you do know that just because you may only get one or two likes on a pic it doesn't mean you're not pretty or worthy enough, right?"

I got the typical whatever response. But I'm hoping something I said hit it's mark..her heart.

A few days later she had a friend over and she was scrolling, trolling through my account and brought it up again. I asked her friend if she did the same thing. Wondering if this was just a Keeli thing (cause sometimes my precocious daughter can come up with some crazy ideas on her own).

She just laughed and said she did the same thing, everyone does!!

Whaaa?

Lately I may post something on FB, Twitter, or Instagram and completely forget about it. You see, God's been working on my heart on this. When I first started out I needed validation that this is what God wanted me to do. And that came in the form of comments or likes.

As I've grown online and inward I know I have to do what God's called me to do regardless if anyone else gets it or not.

And if that means no comments, I move on to the next post. I know I wrote what I needed to.

If I decide to update my status on social media it's to build relationships and meet others. Likes are nice but not my end goal anymore.(To be totally totally honest, this is a work in progress)

(See? I've come a long way in 3 years...or has it been 4?)





What I didn't tell my nephew but am telling Keeli (and myself)is this :
  • You are more than "likes," "comments," and "shares."
  • You are beautiful inside and out
  • Outgoing, confident, and smart doesn't = bossy or a know it all
  • The mean girls are mean because they know There's Something Different about you!
  • Even though it feels like it now, other people's words and opinions are just that. They don't define you.
  • Find God, seek Him. Let Him tell you the truth about who you are. 
  • You are more you are more you are more. Wash and repeat
  • And,You are SO LOVED.
Tell me, do you struggle with this too?

Linking up with: Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood, #TellHisStory, Imperfect Prose, Winsome Wed, and Holley Gerth

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